The Obama visit to the Philippines sealed the death warrant to Filipino patrimony and sovereignty

Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos
April 29, 2014

As the NDFP-Mindanao is currently in the thick of the campaign for the CPP-declared Week for Sovereignty and Patrimony, we reiterate that US President Barack Obama’s visit to Asia and the Pacific, particularly to the Philippines, only spelled intensification to the interminable exploitation and oppression suffered by the Filipino people.  The Philippine leg of US imperialism’s premier representative pushed for a more aggressive implementation of onerous and militarist neo-liberal policies in the country, which served to further trample our national patrimony and sovereignty. 

While Obama was welcomed by his tottering local puppets who have been squabbling to death over the pork barrel, he was markedly met by a sea of militant people’s protests across the archipelago that demanded for an end to US imperialist intervention.

The visit came at a time when the US financial crisis is raging; the US debt bubble is predicted to burst before 2016, a bust in the imperialist economic cycle that is expected to lead to the worst depression ever. Clearly, the US is in desperate need of the Asian market to cater to its crisis, making certain that its allies-cum-client states in the region remain committed to its containment and engagement strategy against emerging superpower China on the one hand, while covertly working hand-in-hand with China and its Shanghai Cooperation Organization to exploit and oppress Third World countries on the other.

Out of the US’s desperation to rid itself of a debilitating crisis, Obama has in fact compelled Asian countries to broaden and strengthen economic cooperation in the region through the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement as well as tighten military collaboration in accordance with its Asia-Pivot Strategy to sustain the US’s geo-political supremacy in the Asian region as well as stand guard against the threat of China’s expanding economic foothold, especially in Southeast Asia.

The ever loyal imperialist stooge Aquino III pulled all the stops to impress his imperialist boss, even at the expense of the Filipino people.  With both presidents invoking the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Obama reemphasized the Philippine’s obligation to submit to and help maintain US military supremacy in the region, while Aquino, in response, lap up US interventionism and even beg for further military aid, especially in the face of an escalating territorial dispute with China.  Despite Obama outrightly denying it, this leaves the entire country wide open for permanent military basing with frequent visits from nuclear-powered war vessels and aircraft as well as conducting joint military exercises and eventual full-on combat operations with US troops. 

As expected, Aquino III went all-out to amaze his Boss Obama with ludicrous tales of chivalry in his “fight against corruption,” boasting his intent to rid all turfs in government of corrupt practices but his own. Aquino III’s attack against corruption is obviously his modus at consolidating his power, punishing others for their malfeasance but condoning the ones he has done (such as maintaining his own presidential funds from scrutiny).  However, it should be obvious that the government that welcomed Obama is one that is plagued with division and infighting, with the main actors tirelessly trying to best the other at getting the larger portion of the loot, that is - taking into consideration the Napoles phenomenon - disguised in a less flagrant fashion so as to evade prosecution.

As always the case in US presidential visits, the country’s rich natural resources, especially in the island of Mindanao, was offered up for the taking. Aside from the much-desired Liguasan Marsh in the Cotabato basin, mineral-rich areas in all five regions in Mindanao was thrown on the table for further plunder and destruction by multinational mining and agribusiness companies. As it is, the continued intrusion of these multinational giants threaten the livelihood, the very existence of several Lumad peoples in the island, such as the Ata-Manobos in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, the B’laans in Davao del Sur and South Cotabato, and the Mamanwas, Banwaons, Higaonons and other tribes in the Surigao, Agusan and Misamis Oriental provinces and the peasants in Zamboanga Peninsula.  

Aquino III bragged about taming the MILF, and shamelessly offered up natural-resource rich Moro ancestral lands for imperialist plunder. The speedy pacification of the MILF and all Moro armed resistance groups was a vital step to seize and occupy additional sources of raw materials Mindanao. But, Obama must have been dismayed to know that Moro armed groups, such as the BIFF and other Moro resistance forces, have continued to wage armed struggle in pursuit of the fight for their genuine right to self-determination.  

Obama praised Aquino III for Oplan Bayanihan, an all-out military suppression plan patterned after the US COINTELPRO.  Now that about 60% of AFP forces are deployed in Mindanao, the US president was assured that US economic and military interests as well US forces already deployed in the island are well protected especially against the revolutionary movement. The foremost icon of imperialist exploitation must know that he visited a nation where the people have been waging a revolutionary people’s war for 45 years. And even with a beefed-up military, the revolutionary forces in the island will not cease to level head blows to puppet AFP troops and punitive actions against multinational corporations that continue to exploit and oppress masses of workers, peasants and national minorities.

Despite his empty boast however, Aquino III fell flat on his face in front of a gawking Obama knowing full well that the people and their revolutionary movement will never be deterred by renewed threat by US imperialism. If anything, Obama’s presence, for all its intents and purposes, has only achieved to further infuriate a hungry, impoverished Filipino people and push for the advance of the people’s war in the country, and in other neighbouring Asian nations.

The NDFP-Mindanao calls upon all revolutionary forces and the people to join the nationwide declaration and campaign of April 22-30 as National Sovereignty and Patrimony Week by uniting  to expose and oppose US imperialism’s continuing militarist and interventionist policies and strategies that fetter and ultimately butcher our national patrimony and sovereign rights.#